ESSEX—Gov. Larry Hogan and state schools superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon gave the go-ahead last week for high schools to resume playing fall sports beginning in October.
Baltimore County opted not to take advantage of the opportunity. Reportedly, all 24 high school athletic directors told county Superintendent of Athletics Michael Sye it would be too difficult to begin practices on October 7 and start playing games on Oct. 27.
Baltimore County will proceed with an earlier plan introduced by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), with all three sports — winter, fall and spring — playing abbreviated seasons beginning on Feb. 1.
But the MPSSAA isn’t the only acronym running sports in Baltimore County.
The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Interscholastic Association of Maryland (IAMM) announced last week its member schools can begin playing fall sports under open schedules.
The two associations represent private and parochial schools: the MIAA for boys and the IAMM for girls.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex will start playing three fall sports: boys and girls soccer, and girls volleyball.
(As the only co-ed private school remaining in the Baltimore area, Mount Carmel is in the unique position of belonging to both the MIAA and the IAMM.)
Both organizations originally postponed the fall sports season indefinitely on August 13.
Mount Carmel sent a letter to parents last week informing them of the decision to play sports.
The letter, from athletic director Alex Brylske, stated:
“The MIAA and IAAM voted on Friday to allow an “open season” to begin for its member institutions and, as a result, there will not be a traditional fall season. This means that a majority of MIAA and IAAM schools felt that they could not begin sanctioned league play on October 26th, and those schools who felt they could, have the ability to resume competition.
“While Our Lady of Mount Carmel is disappointed by the decision, we are happy our student athletes will return to competition.”
The MIAA and the IAMM will not provide official schedules; each school will schedule the amount of games within its “comfort level” in cooperation with other member schools.
Schedules will be released at the start of tryouts. Mount Carmel began tryouts this week, and games may begin as early as Oct. 30.
“Our Lady of Mount Carmel is collaborating with scheduled schools regarding health and safety protocols to protect our communities,” Brylske wrote. “The fundamental goal driving all that we do right now is the safety of our community. We are able to provide this additional opportunity because of your commitment to our community’s health and safety.”
The Mount Carmel boys soccer team will play a 10-game schedule beginning on Oct. 30 at Glenelg Country School.
Home games are: Nov. 3 (St. Maria Goretti); Nov. 5 (Gerstell Academy), Nov. 14 (St. Mary’s), Nov. 17 (Chapelgate) and Dec. 5 (St. incent Pallotti).
The girls soccer team will play an 11-game schedule beginning Oct. 30 at Annapolis Christian.
There will be five home games: Nov. 2 (St. Maria Goretti), Nov. 6 (Chapelgate), Nov. 23 (St. John’s Catholic Prep), Dec. 1 (Gerstell Academy) and Dec. 5 (Concordia Prep).
The volleyball team has a 13-match schedule beginning Oct. 30 against St. Mary’s.
There are six other home matches: Nov. 7 (Mercy), Nov. 9 (Chapelgate), Nov. 19), (St. Vincent Pallotti), Nov. 23 (St. John’s Catholic Prep), Dec/ 3 (Concordia Prep), and Dec. 9 (Archbishop Spalding).
Schedules are also posted on the school web site at olmcmd.org.